Andrew Flintoff's retirement announcement at such a crucial juncture on the eve of the Lords Test will unfortunately go down as a supremely selfish gesture. The timing of it shows that the man thinks he is bigger than the team. The England team now runs the risk of turning into a farewell circus for Fred in this the biggest series of all.
Sadly Flintoff is no longer half the player he was, certainly not a match winner, as England's record with and without him shows - England do VASTLY better when he is not in the team for the past few years. The man is not nearly as good as he, and the rosey glasses selectors are deluded to believe. So now we have the situation of a half-fit no-longer-potent about-to-retire player being selected on sentiment as the team's talisman despite having a negative influence on results.
And the situation is compounded by Broad's similarly sentimental selection, while the true matchwinner Harmison is kept on the sidelines. Only in English cricket... and what's more Flintoff is only quitting Tests so he can make more money for less work playing Twenty20 fun cricket.